Polymer Testing: The Basics

Polymers are a common component of everyday life. As plastics and elastomers, they perform diverse roles in manufacturing. In order to ensure the products produced from polymers are capable of withstanding the environment into which they must perform, it is essential to provide proper testing. Polymer testing involves understanding characterization as well as the latest technology available to provide the methods of accurate and speedy testing.

What Are Polymers?

A polymer is one of what are many repeating units. They unite into an excessively long chain. A polymer can be a naturally occurring substance such as starch, cellulose chitin and nucleic acids. It can also be a common synthetic substance such as nylon, polystyrene and polyethylene. Each type of polymer requires a comprehensive understanding of the methods of analysis.

Different Approaches to Polymer Analysis

When testing polymers, a researcher or manufacturing analyzer can turn to several possible methods. These rely on diverse technology and techniques to ensure arrival at the right results. Among the most common approaches are the following:

* Chromatography: This method divides the mixtures into distinct components e.g. additives and polymers
* Microscopy: This will provide data on such elements as shape, structure and size as well as topography information about the surface of the polymer
* Physical Testing: Specific tests derive information on how tough, durable and related characteristics a polymer sample possesses
* Spectroscopy:Using a spectroscope will help find answers to what category or type the polymer sample falls into
* Thermal Analysis: This analytical technology supplies the answers to the question of specific physical properties as melting and freezing points
* Titrations: A very specialized approach to determine such matters as what and how many acid groups are currently in the sample

Various industries rely on these approaches to provide them with the information they need to produce the right product.

Manufacturing and Industrial Applications Requiring Polymer Testing

Testing is a vital component of the development and production of any component. Testing the material and/or the product allows the manufacturing company to see the capabilities of the item. It also helps them to understand its qualities and characteristics better. At the same time, it ensures the material will comply with specifications and other industrial standards.

Industries that depend upon accurate testing include:

* Aerospace
* Automotive
* Consumer
* Defense
* Medical

Testing supplies the manufacturers and suppliers of such materials the ability to understand the capabilities of polymer within the desired framework and context of each industrial application.

Polymer Testing

No product is able to pass muster, match or exceed expectations or become a reputable application with testing. Testing is an integral and very important component of pre-product manufacturing. Polymer testing is the best means currently available to ensure the plastics in use by a manufacturing company will react and act as their customers, the government and various environmental and quality control groups expect.

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